' The Physician-sage '...
An ailing king summoned a physician-sage to treat his illness. The
sage refused to come. The king had his soldiers seize the physician
and bring him to the palace.
The king said, "I have brought you here because I am suffering
from a strange paralysis. If you cure me, I will reward you. If not,
I will kill you."
The physician said, "In order to treat you, I need complete
privacy." So the king sent everyone out of the room. Then the
physician took out a knife and said, "Now I shall take my revenge for
your threatening me." He advanced on the king. Terrified, the king
jumped up and ran around the room, forgetting his paralysis in his need
to escape the seemingly crazed physician.
The sage fled the palace one step ahead of the guards. The king
never realized that he had been cured by the only method that could
have been effective.
-traditonal as collected by Fadiman & Frager
Posted by thomas meehan